mo’ muslins, mo’ problems

I lost my wallet last week.   On Saturday, I had dinner with friends and we decided to go to one of those random Roma psychics on 9th Avenue—the type where you have to go upstairs into an apartment or stay down in a hallway.  The elegance.  Just call me Jackie Kennedy, y’all.  She read my jaw, which was fascinating and weird.  (In case you were wondering, I’m going to live a long life and be wealthy, quelle suprise, and I’m blocking love.)  Anywho, after that, we had to walk through the dreaded Times Square and the naif of the group decided that we should totally go to one of those comedy shows that are hawked by random dudes in the street.  Where did I lose my wallet, you ask?  In Fabrics for Less a few days later, obviously.  If I were to put my money on where I’d get robbed, I would probably go with Times Square at two in the morning because. . .ick.

I’m telling you this story for a reason, I promise.  Originally, I’d backtracked to Fabrics for Less and we couldn’t find my wallet.  Sam the owner let me use the store phone to call my mom and offered to give me money to get food and to get home.  Seriously.  Then, when he found my wallet, he redialed my mama to let her know.  This is not a few days after he trusted me to take my fabric to his other store (Chic) to pay when the card reader at FfL was being wonky.  I’m still warm and fuzzy.  The Garment District, it’s basically Mayberry.

I have a couple of finished makes, but I figured maybe we could workshop some muslins today.  Also, you will see my face.  Let me warn you, this is the week I get my unibrow and ‘stache threaded and when I’m slated to get a haircut.  Read: I look like a creature from the great wild beyond.  Don’t ever say I don’t keep it real, reader.  Let’s start with the Colette Chantilly.

colette chantilly muslin

This is how my face looks when I take photographs.  This is also why we have so few photographs on the blog.  Anyway, there are some problems here.  I’m thinking I need to reduce the width on the back bodice piece, size down the yoke one or two sizes and really work on the gathering.  While I am admittedly stacked, my bust doesn’t usually brush my chin when I walk.  I suppose the gathers will be reined in when I size things down.

colette chantilly bust

If my cats were a little less inclined to claw out chunks of my flesh, I would have tried to fit one of them in the bodice as an illustrative measure, because that’s not weird at all.  The skirt’s just a plain old six-piece gathered number, so no need for a full shot.

Next!  Simplicity 1873.  Oy.  So, I was in Washington when I put this guy together.  I whipped it up on the rental Bernina and used a random printed cotton.  I’m going to warn you, I look like a cracked Disney princess in it.  I blame the print.  And the sleeves.

Simplicity 1873 1

I have to take my usual touch out of the sides.  I didn’t line it, so the neckline will be a full 5/8″ deeper on the real deal, so that’s not a problem.  The back is fine, we needn’t discuss it.  Do we think the sleeves will read a touch less twee if I make this is a solid color?

Oh, also, please meet Pada the bronze elephant.  We have her in case people don’t think we’re Indian enough or something like that.  I’m not sure.  It’s weird.  Do you have a bronze elephant?  Oh, and Basil is trying to stalk my ankles, as you do.

Sarai at Colette Patterns gave a photography tip (or was it a commenter tip) that you should chat while being photographed in order to seem natural.  Here’s how that panned out for me:

Simplicity 1873 Talking

We were talking about Aretha Franklin’s short-lived marriage.  I believe I was saying something alone the lines of, “Oh, honey child, no.”

On that note, my face and I will see you later!  Please do let me know if you prefer the Trixie pictures.  We had an aunt over, and when she saw me posing and preening she made a face and said, “Can’t you just use a dressform?”  I do love encouragement, y’all.

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the things i do for sewing, man

I went to G Street Fabrics last Friday.  Actually, I went on a Rockville odyssey that involved G Street Fabrics last Friday.  The Falls Church store is way closer, but their rental machine was out, so I had to go to Maryland.  (That is, their machine was out until they called me as I was on my way to Rockville, to let me know it had been returned.  Facepalm.)

I suppose the first thing I should tell you is that I got slapped in the face with a bus door. G Street Rockville is two buses and a train ride away from campus and I got slapped in the face in the home stretch.  See, I was running to catch the bus and turned the corner to board as the driver was closing the doors.  That was my introduction to Rockville.  Charmed, I was!  Then I got lost in a sea of strip malls on the .7-mile hike from bus stop to store.  I like to pretend that it’s because I’m a New Yorker and not because I’m an idiot.  Just go with it.  Finally, after finding a kindly man and his dog on Hoya Street (waiting to find Saxa Road, obviously), I found G Street.

Fun fact: There is a gym above G Street Fabrics but underneath its sign.  Isn’t that confusing?  Just for me?  Awesome.

As I was waiting for them to resurrect the rental form I found this beauty:

An Ascher polished cotton.  Gorgeous print, fabulous colors, $30/yd.  I died.  I am actually writing this from beyond the grave.  It is Ghost Charlotte, I hope you don’t mind.  I will never ever complain about the prices at Paron ever again, amen.  G Street has another $30 cotton that actually costs $5/yd a Fabrics for Less, $4 if you bring my baller mom with you.  I never knew I was a whiny cheapskate until I started sewing.  (I understand why it costs more, I just don’t like it.)

In an uncharacteristic move, I made my way to the discount section in the back, where everything is $2.97/yd.  Much better.  Mama doesn’t dig for fabric, as a rule, but I emerged from the polyester haze with this beauty:

Uneven because it’s on my bed, but isn’t it pretty?  I think I might be alone there.  The woman who cut it out for me looked doubtful.  Hell, I’m having second thoughts.  It’s a heavy-ish canvas with a bit of body.  I thought it would make a nice pencil skirt, but I’m wondering if I can overcome the stiffness and whip up a pleated A-line skirt.  Doubtful, but windmill tilting is the best part of being a beginner.

Nobody puts Bernina in a corner.  Unless it’s getting late and your roommates probably need to relcaim the postage stamp-sized dining table, then maybe.  The 1001 is lovely and just hums along like a dream, even though I think she’s about twenty years old.

Oh, and I muslined the Colette Meringue skirt in a lovely cotton from none other than Kashi.  This is an excellent picture of it, obviously.   The scallops look like fangs, despite my best notchery, so I’m thinking I might follow this tutorial on my next go (which, erm, should be happening right now).

manic muslin

It’s the middle of the day and I’m in bed with hot water and lemon.  I’m not sick; I’m just letting my mind wander as I take a break from blood-boiling bureaucracy.  I don’t have time for righteous indignation during the semester since my whole life descends into a jumble of lists and schedules.  Best take advantage of the privilege now, I guess.

In an effort to cool off, I’m trying to figure out whether I’ll get a job-job after graduation or if I’ll apply to law school and/or grad school.  I’m fantasizing about personal statements and interviews.  I’m trying to figure out what all to pack for this week.  (I had my own apartment in New Haven and packed everything, but now I live with three other girls and am determined to only bring six weeks worth of stuff.)  I’m trying not to think about whether student health insurance is worse than freelancer’s insurance, as nobody wins in that game.  You know what else I’m thinking about?  My muslin.  (Beautiful segue, I know.)​

This is Vogue 8723.  A very easy pattern, indeed.  (Though I didn’t line the muslin.)​  I put this on last night and asked my mum what she thought.  I quote, “That color looks lovely on you, dear.”  Me: “It’s just a muslin.  I’m going to rip it apart in a few hours.  Do you have any notes on fit?”  Her: “Why wouldn’t you wear that outside?  It looks darling.  Except for the straps.  What’s with the straps?”

Sigh.  I wonder how sew-speak sounds to non-sewers (or rank beginners).  The other day she told me she really liked a fabric in my stash.  I said it was just fabric for a muslin.  She commented on how she’d never felt cotton muslin ​so soft.  Gadzooks!  (Hey, I’m bringing it back.)  I worry about her projects when I leave.

8723 is plain and pretty.  I think that fabric choice will be key.  I’m always worried about skidding into to twee territory.  I like full-skirted dresses and fun prints so it’s very difficult to not look like I’ve lifted my look from a six-year-old’s closet.​

I’m off to a) finish my McCall’s 6503 muslin, b) cut out the fashion fabric​ for both dresses, and c) find some mustard yellow wool suiting for a pair of cropped trousers.  Exciting stuff.